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July 2009
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Is No Garbage Pickup Teaching Torontonian’s to Minimize Waste?

It is day 21 of what is referred to as the ‘Garbage Strike’ here in Toronto. Although the strike affects both the inside and outside workers of the city the focus has been on garbage, since it is now piling up in 19 parks and arenas across the city.

I wondered through the garbage strike if individuals were being more conscious of their waste production? Were people being more prudent when they were shopping and purchasing products will less material? Or in packages that are recyclable or compostable? Were people just buying less?

Looking at the piles of garbage in the designated temporary dump sites of the parks and arenas, on the street and in every corner you can imagine I would guess not. Instead of encouraging people to build composts at their homes and divert more garbage by choosing more efficient products, the city’s solution is to open dump sites near people’s homes and tell them to double bag their garbage.

Outside of the politics of the Cities Worker’s Strike the strike has only taught us that really the Miller platform is not about being ‘green’ (don’t forget they are now spraying harmful pesticides on those garbage piles in parks) but instead about playing the media games.

The garbage strike could have been the stepping stone to promoting more green products, products with less packaging, buying local, etc, but instead it will just be remembered as a time with the city was smelly.